Petroc students say ‘no’ to Brexit

Andy Keeble (Editor North Devon Gazette)

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Petroc students have voted overwhelmingly in favour of Britain remaining part of the European Union.

Barnstaple students were asked to put balls in boxes depending on whether they intended to vote ‘in’, ‘out’ or were ‘undecided’.

Of those who took part, 81 per cent wanted the UK to remain in the EU; nine per cent said leave; and 10 per cent were undecided.

In March, a Gazette poll of 500 people found 32.4 per cent in favour of remaining, opposed to 29 per cent who wished to leave.

Representatives from the Stronger In and Vote Leave campaigns visited the main Sticklepath campus yesterday (Thursday), as part of a drive by the student union to involve young people in the forthcoming EU Referendum on June 23.

Ewan Somerville, Petroc Student Union communications officer, said: “We asked many students how they were voting and a large majority said they were voting to remain.

“There was lots of lively debate which got quite heated at times; both campaigns each had several representatives and the student response was very positive.

“There were hundreds of students who approached us and were very interested in engaging with the EU debate, learning about the benefits and drawbacks of each side.”

Mr Somerville also said that 10 students also registered to vote and many more who were keen to register but did not have their National Insurance numbers on them were given information about how to register.

“We feel the event has been a real success as we’ve not only got hundreds of students hopefully registered, but also much of North Devon’s young generation engaged in this debate,” he added.

Public debate next week

Members of the public are invited to take part in an EU debate at the college next Thursday.

The hustings-style event is being chaired by assistant principal Craig Litster and starts at 4.30pm in the lecture theatre on the Sticklepath campus.

The panel will consist of Jon Price (staff); Andrew Penfold (staff); and David Chalmers (Northern Devon co-ordinator for Stronger In campaign), who will argue the case for Britain’s membership of the EU.

Local businessman Philip Milton; daughter Leonie Milton; Stuart Robertson (UKIP); and James Lewis (student) will make the case for a Brexit.

There is no need to register or book – simply turn up and take part.

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